This is the deed for Jesse Jacobs‘ purchase of 303 Elba Street. He bought the house (in which he was already living) and lot for $725 from E.L. and Ietta R.M. Reid on 4 May 1908. (Elijah Reid, a veterinarian, was born into a free family of color from the opposite end of Wayne County than Jesse and Sarah Jacobs.) The same day, Jacobs gave George W. Connor, Trustee, a mortgage on the property, perhaps to secure a $400 loan he used to buy it. Jacobs was to repay Connor at the rate of $2.50 per week.
On 10 April 1917, the Jacobses arranged another mortgage on their Elba Street home, this time promising to repay W.A. Finch, Trustee, $395 at 6% interest. Circumstances intervened. By about 1922 or ’23, Jesse Jacobs was too ill to work. He died in 1926. Sarah and Hattie Jacobs, her great-niece (and my grandmother) paid what they could from their meager earnings as laundresses. When Sarah Jacobs died in early 1938, the house remained encumbered. Finch’s loan was not repaid until September of that year, most likely from the sale of the property.